The NHL may no longer be considering Vancouver as a hub city for playoffs, the Canucks have confirmed.
“From the beginning, our goal was to help the NHL get hockey back on the ice if we could,” said the team’s chief operating officer Trent Carroll in a statement Thursday (June 25). “Although Vancover won’t be a hub city, we are still excited to see hockey start up again.”
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Vancouver’s bid to host 12 teams in coming weeks hit a snag during discussions between the league, Canucks and provincial health officials.
Specifically, health officials wanted to see a contingency plan for if a player contracted COVID-19 to include the entire team self-isolating, and not just the individual player, which could lead to a suspension in play.
“Vancouver, for anyone who has been paying attention to this, is the best possible place for them to come because we enforce public health rules thoroughly and completely,” Health Minister Adrian Dix told reporters during a news conference.
“This is the reason to come. I love the NHL. I love the NHL coming here. But I am also the Minister of Health, and the players and the fans and the people working at the arenas and those living in British Columbia expect the rules to apply to everybody.”
Shortly after the announcement, Premier John Horgan expressed his disappointment in the decision but noted that B.C. “will not bend the rules on public health guidelines and risk the progress we’ve made.”
I'm disappointed the NHL playoffs won't be coming to Vancouver, but we will not bend the rules on public health guidelines and risk the progress we've made. Protecting the health and safety of people in BC is our number one priority.
— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) June 25, 2020
Toronto and Edmonton are the other two Canadian cities still being considered.
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